Vítor Constâncio

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Vítor Constâncio
Vice-President of the European Central Bank
In office
1 June 2010 – 31 May 2018
PresidentJean-Claude Trichet
Mario Draghi
Preceded byLucas Papademos
Succeeded byLuis de Guindos
Governor of the Bank of Portugal
In office
February 2000 – May 2010
Preceded byAntónio de Sousa
Succeeded byCarlos Costa
In office
September 1985 – May 1986
Preceded byJosé da Silva Lopes
Succeeded byTavares Moreira
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
In office
29 June 1986 – 15 January 1989
PresidentManuel Tito de Morais
Preceded byMário Soares
Succeeded byJorge Sampaio
Minister of Finance and Planning
In office
30 January 1978 – 29 August 1978
Prime MinisterMário Soares
Preceded byHenrique Medina Carreira (Finance)
António Sousa Gomes (Planning and Economic Coordination)
Succeeded byJosé da Silva Lopes
Personal details
Vítor Manuel Ribeiro Constâncio

(1943-10-12) 12 October 1943 (age 80)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political partySocialist
EducationUniversity of Lisbon
University of Bristol
WebsiteOfficial website

Vítor Manuel Ribeiro Constâncio GCC GColIH (born 12 October 1943) is a Portuguese economist and academic who most recently served as Vice President of the European Central Bank, from 2010 to 2018. He previously served as Minister of Finance in 1978 and Governor of the Bank of Portugal from 1985 to 1986 and from 2000 to 2010.

Constâncio graduated in economics from the University of Lisbon, and obtained a master's degree at the University of Bristol. Since June 2018 he has been a professor at the School of Economics & Business Administration of the University of Navarra.


Constâncio was Secretary of State for Planning in the I and II Provisional Government of Portugal from 1974 to 1975, and Secretary of State for Budget and Planning in 1976 in the IV Provisional Government. He then became Minister of Finance from January to August 1978 in the II Constitutional Government of Portugal, and is therefore until now the youngest Portuguese Finance Minister since the revolution.

Constâncio was secretary-general of the Socialist Party from 1986 to 1989. He lost the legislative elections of 19 July 1987, but remained in office. He resigned the following year, being replaced by Jorge Sampaio.

Constâncio was governor of the Banco de Portugal, the Portuguese central bank, for the first time in 1985–86, having been appointed vice-governor in 1977, in 1979, and in the period from 1981 to 1984.[1]

From 1993 to 1994, Constâncio served as chairman of Lisboa 94, the entity in charge of organizing the commemorative events of Lisbon as European Capital of Culture.

Between 1995 and 1999, Constâncio was a member of the Portuguese Council of State. During the same period, he served as Member of the Board (Executive Director) of Banco Português de Investimento (BPI), a leading private Portuguese banking group, with responsibility for Budget, Accounting and Control of Financial Market Risks. In this capacity, he represented BPI as non-executive member of the board of Portugal Telecom and subsequently as non-executive member of the Board of Energias de Portugal.

Constâncio served once more as governor of the Banco de Portugal from 2000 to 2010, having been re-appointed in 2006.[1] Under his presidency the Bank of Portugal spent one third of its original holdings of 600 tons of gold to 400 tons, approximately.[2]

While in office, he advocated salaries stagnation or increases below inflation, as a way to increase the Portuguese economy's competitiveness. In 2005, Constâncio enraged right-wing politicians when he reviewed the previous conservative government's figures and revised the deficit up from around 3% to 6.8%.[3] Two Portuguese banks (Banco Português de Negócios (BPN) and Banco Privado Português (BPP) had been accumulating losses for years due to bad investments, embezzlement and accounting fraud. The Portuguese Central Bank, led by Constâncio, was criticized for having allowed this situation for years.

European Central Bank, 2010–2018[edit]

Constâncio was first mentioned as a potential vice president of the European Central Bank in 2002, to replace Christian Noyer. At the time, he cited family reasons for refusing to run for the post.[3]

Constâncio was eventually appointed vice president of European Central Bank in 2010, for an eight-year mandate.[4] At the time, he was chosen by Eurozone finance ministers ahead of Peter Praet, director of the National Bank of Belgium, and Yves Mersch, the governor of the Bank of Luxembourg, to replace Lucas Papademos of Greece.[5] During his time at the ECB, he developed a reputation as an inflation dove who often emphasised the need for economic growth.[6]

Shortly after, on 6 April 2011, the Portuguese Government, facing increasing difficulties in securing its financing needs in the international financial markets, formally requested international financial assistance leading to a €78 billion program with equal participation of the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, European Financial Stability Facility and International Monetary Fund.

Personal life[edit]

In 1968 he married with Maria José Pardana. They have one son and one daughter.

Other activities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vítor Manuel Ribeiro Constâncio". Bank of Portugal. Archived from the original on 2 March 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  2. ^ Portugal: as más vendas de ouro. informacaoincorrecta.blogspot.pt, retrieved 25 May 2015
  3. ^ a b Luís Rego (24 February 2010), Political banker European Voice.
  4. ^ "2010" (PDF). Diário Económico. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  5. ^ Jim Brunsden (15 February 2010), Portugal wins vice-presidency of ECB European Voice.
  6. ^ Marc Jones (January 2, 2012), Factbox - ECB Governing Council: Who's Who Reuters.
  7. ^ Distinguished Fellows Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  8. ^ Advisory Board Banco de Portugal.
Party political offices
Preceded by Secretary General of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by
António de Sousa
Governor of the Bank of Portugal
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice-President of the European Central Bank
Succeeded by